Once upon a time in an almost perfect land, there lived a young girl named Anairo. Anairo was a sweet and pretty young girl who loved to dance, draw, play and talk. She also loved animals, but especially dogs and elephants. It didn't matter to her what color the elephants and dogs were. She just loved their shapes, their big, expressive eyes, their soft fur and ears.
Anairo was very concerned about her friends the elephants. They were being hunted and killed for their ivory tusks. That made her very, very sad. She was worried that by the time she grew up (for she was only 9 years old), the elephants would all be dead and extinct. But what could she do?
Anairo was skillful and talented. She loved to draw. But she also had one skill that many other children in the U.S. didn't have.she spoke and wrote in French as well as English.
Every summer Anairo would go to France to visit her friends and grandparents as well as her cousins, aunts and uncles. She would spend sunny days at the beach, rainy days inside drawing and making up games for fun. She was very creative, you know.
On one sunny day when Anairo had her family and friends around her, she was watching a documentary on animals around the world. Then the documentary did a short spot on elephants and she was reminded of how elephants were in so much danger. But what could she do? She was only 9 years old.
She ran to her mom and said, "Mom! Mom! What can I do to help the elephants?" Her mom was an artist who had done beautiful sculptures before Anairo was born. But before her mom could answer, she ran to her dad.
"Dad! Dad! What can I do to help the elephants?!" Her father was an artist too. He had been a filmmaker. He made small, artistic, personal films and also documentaries. Sometimes he did paintings. But before he could give her an answer, she ran to get her grandfather.
"Granper! Granper!" she called in French. "What can I do to help the elephants?!" Her granper was familiar with elephants. He had lived in Africa once upon a time. He had been an engineer and helped build bridges and buildings. But before he could answer, Anairo ran calling to her grandmother.
"Granmer! Granmer!" she called out in French. "What can I do to help the elephants?!" Her granmer knew about elephants because she had lived in Africa with Granper once upon a time too. She had worked in one of the offices as an accountant making sure the money was well spent. But before granmer could answer, Anairo ran off. She started to call out to her uncle but then she just stopped. She thought for a few minutes. An idea was brewing in her mind. Her eyes got bigger and they begin to twinkle.
She stood in the freshly cut green lawn developing her idea as her mom, dad, granper, granmer and aunts, uncles and cousins came running.
"I know how to save the elephants!" she yelled with excitement. "I have an idea but I need help," she continued. So she got all her family to help.
Six months later, she went into a bookstore in Colorado and there was a big poster in the window. It was her poster. The poster drawing of the African elephant with big tears in its eyes and its baby elephant next to it had started from her idea. The money that the poster was making was going to a fund to save the elephants. And other young girls and boys from other countries were flocking to the stores to buy the poster for their rooms. They too were helping save the elephants. Anairo knew at last not only what she could do to save the elephants, but that even a young girl of 9 years old could help make changes that were important.